God created us to live in peace. He created us to love one another. I believe we function better in unity, in harmony. I believe we feel the best, the most energized and the most joyful when there is no grief or strife amongst us. Our souls were suited to work out of love, in love and with love.
But that’s not always the case is it?
I’m sure we all can say we have experienced conflict. Whether it was in a dating relationship, our husband, our wife, mom or dad, our children…a sibling…a friend. We all have felt hurt, misunderstood, and mistreated by another. The tension here is real, its deep and it’s painful. The feeling of being misunderstood and mistreated. It’s one of the hardest places to land. Because there is no closure. There is no period, no end. Nothing is final. It is just left…like an open wound that has no ability to heal itself. Our hearts can be left hurt, misunderstood and devalued.
It’s conflict. It’s the words that were said or not said. It’s the lack of grace, love, and forgiveness.
“What she said is unforgivable. What he did…I can never forget.”
And oh.. have I been there. I have felt the sting of someone’s words. I have felt the burden of being completely misunderstood. I have felt the cold shoulder, the hardened heart from a family member. I have felt the gossip, the lies that were told. It can cut your heart and cause you to be jaded. It leaves you feeling raw, vulnerable, and utterly broken. And if those feelings are left untouched, it grows roots of bitterness, anger, hate, and pride.
For the past few years I have found myself in this season of dealing with conflict, and I have been seeking God, seeking His word all the while screaming, “God guide me, heal me, help me!”
“Seek peace and pursue it. Bear with each other in love. Words bring life or death”…Yes God I see it, I hear it…but I don’t feel it. She was so disrespectful, so cold, there was no understanding in her voice. There was no desire to hear me, to know me, to love me. She didn't apologize, she didn't own up to anything. She just kept throwing stones, so what do I do with that God? With how I feel?
I leaned in closer, with a desire to grow and be sanctified. And I believe that is the key…to press in. Press in when it hurts, press in when your feelings and emotions are running high, when your anger is at boiling point. Because it is in these moments…that He shows up. It’s who He is.
It’s not in His nature to not answer.
Because He is Emanuel. God with us, God in us, God in you.
And so the Spirit spoke truth to me and it was as if the wind blew in with the cold breeze and gave me new life. And it wasn’t about her and it wasn't about how to forgive, it was about me…isn’t it always.
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9.
Your heart consists of your mind, will and EMOTIONS. And so many times in my life I have been told, “It’s ok, that’s how you feel. You are allowed to feel this way. You deserve to feel this way.” Well okay… but as a woman of God I am called to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit then my emotions, my self, my flesh. The more we are in tune with the Holy Spirit the more our emotions will come into alignment with the Holy Spirit.
3. The more confident we are in our identity in Christ the less conflict will intimidate us The more I know who I am in Christ as a woman, the more I am able to love with not needing anything in return. The person and their opinion of me has no weight on who I am. If I am able to look at a situation and know, “God I sought peace, I honored you, and I humbled myself.” And if they don’t accept any of that. It’s ok. Heather it is ok. My identity belongs in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Because if their name isn't God, their opinion doesn't matter and their approval isn't
So I don’t move on and act like this never happened. But I let go.
Let go knowing this is no longer up to me.
Let go letting the Lord continue to shape me.
Let go of the hurt. Because when hurt ends healing can begin, and only the Holy one can heal and reveal and lead and love.
Let go because I am a Mother who is a walking example to her children. And I am a Mother who will raise young women to know their identity belongs in Jesus Christ. Not in this culture, not in this world and not in someone's opinion of them.
So I hope dear soul, you can be encouraged, that you can take what I have learned and choose to press in.
Because when we press in we please our Heavenly Father. And that is how you live Lovely and Free.
So many search and seek for this. They look for happiness in a bottle, a person, a job or a place. But truly...the happiness lies deeper within. And when we know who created our souls we can trust the way to get there.
The Lord is my chosen portion and cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Did you catch it? It's right there. The secret to happiness, to fullness of joy and to peace. It contradicts all that the world says, it won't add up to our culture's ways, but if you can get this you will unlock more joy, more peace and more contentment you will have ever felt.
So cling to this dear friend. Memorize and hold this tight. Here lies the reality of it all....
1. The Lord has given us what He sees fit for the journey He has designed for you. You cannot compare your journey to another. Your cup is tailored for your hands to hold, your journey is fit for your feet to walk. Sometimes our cup feels like it is empty, what we have is not enough, we need this person, this job or this house. You say, "God if only I had ____. Then I will be good." But then at times we also believe our cup is overflowing, everything is just too much. Too many responsibilities, you can't do it all. You're flooded with feelings of being overwhelmed and overcome. You say, "Why God? Why all of this?" You see in verse two of this chapter it says, "I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord, I have no good apart from you'." This means you are God and I am not. You know and I don't. You see it all, and I just see right in front of me. And the truth is, anything that doesn't come from God will not satisfy.
2. The boundary lines that you have traced and placed upon my life are beautiful. The hard, yet good truth of it all is that the Lord has given us what He sees fit for the journey He has designed for each one of us. If we look at the life of another who has that dream house, financial stability we could only wish for, the perfect marriage...do we envy those physical things or is there a deeper heart issue that we think that God loves them more? Because that is the poison, the bitterness that will creep in and separate you from Him.
The thought of Him being able to love some more than others...oh dear friend that is far from the truth. God sees you...just you, and He knows what your soul needs and what could hinder your soul from needing Him. This should bring freedom to us, this pulls you out of the race because it shows you that there is no race...a race for who is the best, who is the most beautiful, no that is the culture. But the Lord, the keeper of your heart, the One who holds it altogether says, "Stop running and accept what I have given you. Don't look to the right or to the left" Verse 7 says, "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." Do you have your eyes set on Him?
And here is the ultimate promise, that if we can accept with our whole hearts these things...then we will have JOY and TREASURES FOREVERMORE.
3 There is an adventure that is tailored to me and my life and He will make it known but I must BE WHERE I AM & BE WHO I AM.
Verse 11, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
To be in His presence, we must remain in the present. To be who we are means we must BE in the moment, not the future and not the past...but right here in the now.
My prayer for 2017 is for the Lord to unrush me. I know I am missing out when my mind is racing. When I am focused on the To Do's and not the little ones that are begging for my attention, to come and dream, imagine and make believe with them. I am missing out on being near my husband when I scroll through the thousands of pictures of other people's highlight reels because I don't want to feel like I am missing something important. But I am missing everything important by not choosing him.
To be where I am...means to put the phone down and live in a messy house, because a messy house is better than a spotless one with missed children. And to be Who I am...means to stop running and walk the path with my eyes fixed on Him. Because there...right there lies my joy, my peace, and my happiness.